Musical automaton "Clown on ladder"

    Musical automaton "Clown on ladder"

    France, Paris

    circa 1910

    Roullet & Decamps

    Papier-mache, wood, metal, fabric, lace; sewing, mechanical work, painting

    106 х 35 х 50 cm

    Mark on the nape: “MARCO”


    A ladder is with seven crossbars is mounted on rectangular, covered with embossed bordeaux velvet with braid and pompoms along the edge of the stand. The automaton in the form of a clown's figure stands, leaning with each hand on two balls, yellow and blue, fixed on the ladder sides. The figure is dressed in red silk clown suit with lace collar and short pants. The right puffed sleeve is yellow, the left one is red. The embroidery with beads and sequins in the form of a beetle is on the chest, the embroidery in the form of a sun-face is on the back. Green velvet waistcoat is embroidered with beads and sequins. Green and red knitted stockings and light leather shoes are on his feet. The head is porcelain with light brown glass eyes. Round red silk hat is on the head. Clown's make-up on his face, with a beetle is painted on his forehead. A dumbbell and rectangular freight with ring lie on the stand. An activating lever and a crank are on the rear side. When the mechanism is activated, the figure of the equilibrist comes into motion. The clown presses into horizontal handstand. The head rises, descends and turns to the right and to the left. Then he draws his right hand aside, and the whole figure turns one quarter on his left hand. After that, all movements are repeated in the reverse order.
    During the performance, the ladder tilts and the balls on which the clown’s arms rest, rotate in different directions. Clown movements are accompanied by the sounds of musical movement with cylinder and sound comb.